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Almost Like Playing the Lottery: Changes Announced for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, & Haitian Parole

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | May 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

Photo by @emilianovittoriosi on Unsplash

We know many of you were excited to learn about the new parole program that USCIS announced in January for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Haiti. 

The process, similar to the Uniting for Ukraine parole sponsorship program that was announced in April 2022, is a new program by which a U.S. based supporter can petition to sponsor a national of Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, or Venezuela to come live and work in the United States for a two year period.

Although the process has only been open for a few months, it is very popular and USCIS said there has been a high level of interest, shown by the amount of I-134A forms being filled out, which are online forms requesting to be a sponsor of someone under the parole program.

Because of this high level of interest, USCIS has announced a new policy that it is implementing - an updated review process that began May 17, 2023. 

Under the special process for Haitians, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, USCIS can grant special advanced travel authorization to up to 30,000 people per month. But as you know, USCIS has been infamously backlogged. Because of that backlog history, USCIS has been searching for new and innovative ways to process cases in a timely manner, and its latest way is essentially a lottery. 

Under the new review process, USCIS will randomly select about half of the monthly total of Forms I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, regardless of filing date, from the entire pending workload to review. The other half of the monthly total of I-134A forms USCIS will review based on when the case was submitted under the first-in, first-out method, which prioritizes the oldest Forms I-134A for review. 

USCIS stated that the review process is being updated because the amount of people submitting I-134A forms every month is significantly higher than the 30,000 travel authorizations available for that month. The agency also stated that under this updated system, processing times will vary.

For more answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the USCIS webpage on the parole process for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans.

If you have questions about how you can apply for parole for your loved one please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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